I have great ideas, but…

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How many times have you heard from a friend or a colleague the sentence “I have great ideas, but…”?

All of us have ideas, and sometimes those ideas are really good and some of them are even great, but in reality what matters the most is not the ideas themselves. It is how are you going to achieve these ideas and turn them into successful, moneymaking business ventures?

In order to achieve certain idea, first you need to devise a plan for assessing its potential, validating that your idea is truly unique and finally realising it. In other words, you need to find out, is this idea really great and can I turn this idea into something that I can make money from?


I’m not the credible person who you should listen to in this respect, because I haven’t been able to turn most of my ideas into cash cows, but I have some general points I wish to throw at you and make you pause and think about this for a moment.

I have devised the process of idea realisation into several distinct stages:

  • Generation,
  • Validation,
  • Evaluation
  • and

  • realisation.

Generation

Generation is the process by which you come up with an idea. Usually, this process is involuntary and uncontrolled and you usually pass through it without even acknowledging the fact. All ideas have arisen from specific needs. They form in your head because you would like to get something done and you cannot find the necessary tools that would enable you to do so.

Validation

We assume that you have generated an idea in your mind and you think that possibly this idea is innovative, has never been realised before and you are the person whose going to cash-in on it. The next stage is to validate your claims.

If your idea is about a product or service, try and search for a similar product or service to yours. Try with alternatives that might had already realised your idea a little bit differently. Try looking up globally. Usually, it turns out that someone, somewhere has already created a product or service that closely resembles the idea you’re after but maybe the service is targeted towards a local market or towards a specific group of people.

When you complete the validation process and you’re confident that your idea is truly unique or at least has potential to be realised in your local market or environment, you need to evaluate how effective your idea would be in a local context.

Evaluation

Most people like you and me cannot afford to obtain an expensive all-out target market, SWAT and cash projection analysis, so your best bet is to test the market by observing your competitors and by quietly building a prototype of your product or service which would enable you to gain a first-hand experience of the market you would like to penetrate into.
I am aware that numerous ideas cannot be prototyped due to their nature, cost of implementation or other factors and if you have one of these ideas in mind, your best bet would be to network with people who have similar ideas or experience in the sector or niche you’re after. Talk to them about your idea; persuade them to help you out. Many people would back down, but a few would take the risk and give you a hand and help you to take your idea off the ground.

Realisation

Here comes the most important stage – the realisation of your great idea.

I have never consulted the statistics regarding failures of new businesses but I bet the rate is pretty high, probably around 80-90 % of all startups. Causes are diverse and are beyond the scope of this post, but one of the most prevalent is bad realisation. No matter how great and fresh your idea is, if it has not been realised right, it is doomed.

Take great care when realising your idea. Spend a great amount of time refining, testing and evaluating the product or service you are building. Launch it only when you are completely satisfied by the level of quality it provides. Even if you are doing prototype for a future product or service, try to make it as close as possible to the real product. Have in mind that albeit a prototype, you would want potential investors or partners to see it and most importantly, like it. Build, test, refine, and repeat. Build, test, refine, and repeat. Do this in a loop as long as you feel necessary and whenever you are absolutely certain that your product or service is high quality and does exactly what it is stated and intended in the beginning, launch it to the public and your success would be much more viable and lasting.

  2 comments for “I have great ideas, but…

  1. March 4, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    Very valuable advice here, in your detailed post!

    Thanks! 🙂

    I think I will now re-read it…

    • Georgi Zhivankin
      March 4, 2011 at 7:41 pm

      @Michel: Well, good to hear that. By the way, your comment is the first one in my brand new blog which makes me even happier. 🙂 I hope it won’t be the last one though.

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